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" Thunder Road, " was written and performed by Bruce Springsteen , and is the opening track on his 1975 breakthrough album Born to Run . It is ranked as one of Springsteen's greatest songs, and often appears on lists of the top rock songs of all time. [ 2 ] [ 3 ] Rolling Stone magazine placed it as #86 on its " 500 Greatest Songs of All Time ." [ 3 ] [ edit ] History The song underwent considerable evolution as it was written, with an early version titled "Wings for Wheels" first performed at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania , on February 5, 1975. The phrase "wings for wheels," would eventually be used in the final version of the song's lyrics. Other early versions also mention a girl named "Angelina" or "Christina" rather than the studio version's "Mary."